In all honesty, organization is not my strength.
There. I said it.
It takes a lot for me to admit that I struggle with organization. Honestly, I feel a certain level of shame on the subject.
The crazy thing is that in a logical world, it’s something I should be really good at. I used to get paid to organize big projects for a living.
I’m actually really good at organizing other people’s stuff. If you want your pantry organized or your closet cleaned out, I can do a really good job of it. If you need someone to make the school supply cabinet or the linen closet look like something that belong on Pinterest, I’d love to help.
Just… don’t look at my closet or pantry or cabinet. I can promise that mine are as bad as yours (or worse).
Over the past several months, I’ve been battling through my home, room by room and box by box. I’ve been slowly bringing order to chaos. When I’m too tired to purge yet another cabinet, I sit and purge electronic clutter or consolidate information into a notebook.
Little by little, I’m getting my stuff together. It’s hard work. It’s slow going. It isn’t much fun.
As I’ve worked, I keep coming back to one solitary word. It guides everything I do.
Why less? Because it works for me. As I work on organizing something, I literally ask myself “how can this be about LESS?” The answer may surprise you.
It takes LESS. If you ask me how long it will take to organize my pantry, I’d estimate two or three hours. The reality is that it takes far less. It took 20 minutes this morning. Any job seems easier once I start it.
We need LESS. It’s much easier to keep my sock drawer organized with 10 pairs of socks than with 40. Letting go of excess helps every single time I embrace it.
I can do LESS. I’m big on dreaming up fancy organizing systems. At one point, I had the spice rack alphabetized. That’s great if it works. But I feel just as organized when all the spices are in their designated area. Simple really is better.
I’m not help-LESS. There are some things I’ll always struggle with. I’m horrible at getting the stuff destined for donations from the front porch to the actual donation site. That’s ok. I have friends and family who help me with that step. Asking for help is allowed. Honest.
Aim for stress-LESS. Feeling disorganized stresses me out. To be honest, so does trying to maintain “perfect organization” or keep up with some overly complicated system that doesn’t bring my joy. There’s a huge amount of middle ground between those two extremes, and somewhere in there is a spot that works for me. When I find the balance between the two, the stress melts away. I feel in control. I’m not controlled by the chaos and I’m not slave to a complicated standard of perfection. That works for me.
From one disorganized mom to another, I highly recommend the word LESS.
This is the fourth week in our series “Start With One.”
We’re exploring ways to start small to make valuable changes in our lives.
Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker writes at ThisHappyMom and has a passion for encouraging weary worn out moms to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination for eggs, socks, and books. She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family. She serves an amazing God. She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder.
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